And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Colossians 3:14 NIV)
Does your heart long to experience unity in the Christian community?
I feel sad as I see the contention playing out in our world, yet the lack of unity in the Christian community pierces my heart at a much deeper level.
However, we can take our eyes off the problem and place them on our problem solver! Christ Jesus has provided all we need to experience the unity our Father longs to see us enjoy with our brothers and sisters.
Three practical ways to experience unity in the Christian community
1. Remember who WE are.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy, and dearly loved…” (Colossians 3:12 )
It encourages me to meditate on who God says I am and step into my true identity. Yet sometimes I forget the WE. Yes, I am God’s chosen person; he loves me personally. But equally important, WE are God’s chosen PEOPLE. Individuals of different shapes and colors fit together to form one body of LOVE.
2. Dress appropriately!
“…Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, and humility.” (Colossians 3:12 )
As we dress for the day, let’s exchange indifference toward others’ suffering with a heart of compassion. Let’s exchange self-interest for kindness. Ask a sister how her heart is today and grieve with her if she’s hurting. Let’s trade pride in our accomplishments for humility toward a brother. How can we come alongside him and help him succeed? Remember, we’re on the same team!
3. Practice forgiveness.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.” (Colossians 3:13 )
Unless we live a life of solitude in a cave, we will get upset with each other. Newsflash: Sinners sin! I find it impossible to experience unity with a brother or sister when I am bearing a grudge. Bitterness poisons compassion and kindness but releasing the offenses to God sets us all free. And I have to remind myself of the adage, “Practice makes perfect.” Forgiveness is something I have to practice because it certainly doesn’t come naturally.
So, let’s remember who WE are, dress appropriately with kindness and humility, and practice forgiveness. Then we can begin to experience the unity in the Christian community that Christ died to accomplish.
“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Colossians 3:14 )
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)
Today’s guest post is by Cheryl Lutz, my CCC sister and friend. She invites us to follow the Master and walk in Christian love and unity.
Bio: Cheryl Lutz is the founder of Securely Held, a writing, speaking, and lay counseling ministry which helps Christian women break the power of their hidden secrets and find rest in the security of God’s grip. She is a “retired” pastor’s wife. (Her husband Alan has transitioned to a full-time teaching ministry.) They are currently snuggled in a quaint cabin in the North Georgia mountains, a good gift from their Abba Father. They have four adult children and a bonus son by marriage. Cheryl is a proud Mimi to her oldest daughter’s dog and youngest son’s cat! You can find her at www.CherylLutz.com